Treat all vernacular schools equally – LDP

KOTA KINABALU: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) vice president Lim Ming Hoo has urged the government to treat all venacular schools equally to enjoy the nation’s education resources.

Lim, who is also LDP Moyog divisional chief, pointed out that the allocation for all Chinese vernacular primary schools this year was less than one percent of the country’s total allocation for education.

“This lopsided allocation is disasterous,” he said when gracing the presentation of education fund at the Grand Portview Seafood Restaurant here yesterday where 278 school students from the eight LDP divisions in the West Coast each received RM120 of education fund.

In his speech, Lim said the education fund was initiated in 1996 by former LDP president Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat and the party had given out more than RM 900,000 benefitting about 8,000 students.

“This year was no exception. All 26 divisions in the state have submitted their applications, and we have approved more than 800 applicants which adds up to RM100,000,” Lim said.

Lim also said that due to the government’s unequal distribution of allocation to vernacular primary schools, the Chinese primary schools have had to raise their own funds for school construction, renovation or upgrading of infrastructure.

“The board of directors often have to pitch in by settling utility bills incurred by these Chinese primary schools,” he said.

He opined that it was time the government distributed the fund equitably to schools based on the number of students and their needs for hard infrastructure to give every school adequate funds for development.

“My understanding is that the education policy does not classify schools into fully subsized or partially subsized. But the Education Ministry had categorised schools built on federal land as fully subsidised, while schools built on state land or on land belonging to a board of governor as partially subsidised, causing these schools to lose the allocation they deserve,” he added.

Lim further said that the government has allocated RM35.7 billion for education in the budget this year comprising RM29.3 billion for operating expenses and RM6.4 billion for development expenses.

“The beneficiaries of the RM6.4 billion development fund would be the 95.1 per cent national type primary schools while a mere 3.9 per cent would be for vernarcular primary schools throughout the country,” Lim said.

He reminded that the 660,000 pupils in Chinese vernacular primary schools make up 21.2 per cent of the total number of pupils in Malaysia. Out of this, 75,000 are bumiputras.

Lim stressed the importance of equal treatment to all vernacular schools to prevent the outflow of talents, adding that the federal government should also assist the 60 Chinese independent schools in the country as they have too often been sidelined.

Present at the function were deputy president Datuk Chin Su Phin, secretary general and Tanjung Aru chairman Datuk Teo Chee Kang, Luyang chairman Datuk Lee Chuen Wan, vice president and youth leader Chin Shu Ying, organising secretary and Inanam chairman Yong Wui Chung, chief publicity officer and Petagas chairman Albert Kok Yuk Ken, Kepayan deputy chairman Johnny Yong Thau Heung.

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